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Book on World Flight Across Russia in 21 Days, July 1992, Offers Snapshot of Post Soviet Russia Right After Collapse‘

Book on World Flight Across Russia in 21 Days, July 1992, Offers Snapshot of Post Soviet Russia Right After Collapse‘

12 Planes & 22 Aviators Thru 11 Countries and Over Siberia from Moscow as Guests of Russian VP Alexander Rutskoi

Audiobook Available in Google Play, Click Here.

A new book, Round the World & Across Russia in 21 Days, 30 Years Later, chronicles in detail a flight of 12 small planes circumnavigating through Russia months after the final collapse of the Soviet Union. Organized from March 1991 to July 1992, as the Soviet empire crumbled, it was a miracle the 1st Annual Around the World Air Rally ever took place.

Written using seven major pilot journals, five ancillary journals, interviews and 25 hours of videotape the author shot documenting the event, Round the World & Across Russia also captures 30 years of historical context from the tumultuous decades that followed. Pilots from a variety of background, flying single and twin engine aircraft, started at Santa Monica Airport on July 4, 1992 and became the first private group to circumnavigate while crossing all of Russia.

This second book about the World Flight Across Russia, first one published in 1998, was created because of how much more unique it has become in light of recent, and not so recent, events in Russia. That summer of 1992 marked a watershed moment in world history, one that was characterized by hope for better relations between old adversaries and new friends.

The Russian people had been devastated for decades and the collapse of the Soviet system allowed them to believe a better future was possible. During the organization no one was sure who could make final decisions for permission to cross Russia, the routing or how we might obtain aircraft fuel during the perilous journey throughout Siberia.

The narrative is also told from the perspective of someone along for the ride. Michael B. Butler was a last minute addition, hired by a third party, to document the World Flight in video and still pictures. However, author Butler's education in Russian culture continued for 30 years and this gives the book a keen historical perspective and depth.

A grand adventure at a key moment in history, Round the World & Across Russia in 21 Days, 30 Years Later combines many different elements in a complex story when geopolitical structures were falling and getting built anew. Destined to remain locked in a unique spot of aviation and general history, and all the plans for World Flights Across Russia after July 1992 were deemed unsafe and canceled. Looking back from 2024, it physically and metaphorically happened in a place in time hard to recognize only three decades later.

1) Written using seven major pilot journals, five ancillary journals, interviews, 25 hours of videotape and what the author remembered.

2) Pilots from California, Texas, Hawaii and Illinois in the United States and Italy, UK, Holland, Germany, and Japan participated.

3) They rented a Soviet built IL-76T, one of the biggest aircraft in the world, to haul 10,000 galls of BP Avgas to be hand-pumped from Moscow thru Siberia.

4) First private group of general aviation aircraft to circumnavigate across Russia & land at historic Tushino grass airfield in Northwest Moscow.

5) Across Siberia lack of navigation aids and recalcitrant Russian air traffic controllers nearly caused aviation disasters.

6) First private aircraft to land at Anadyr Air Force Base and ICBM nuclear launching site on Russia's Pacific Coast near Alaska.

View Book Trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGCSkKi9n5s

Round the World & Across Russia in 21 Days, 30 Later: 12 Planes & 22 Aviators Thru 11 Countries When the Soviet Union Fell & Russia Returned, Paperback ISBN: 979-8868045271, For more info go to www.MichaelButlerBooks.com and purchase copies at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Media Contact: For interviews or to request review copies contact Eric Blair Enterprises at 562-384-6697 or MichaelButlerBooks@pm.me.

About the Author: Michael B. Butler, author of Round the World & Across Russia and co-author of Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, is also a prof photographer who has worked extensively in book and corporate PR, the latter primarily premier river cruise company AmaWaterways and escorted tour company, Brendan Vacations, His assignments included documenting 50th Anniversaries of Pearl Harbor and D-Day, the World Flight Over Russia, a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with 750 Christians, 2013, and multiple PR junkets to Ireland and Tahiti.

Excerpts from Round the World & Across Russia in 21 Days, 30 Years Later

— In January 1992 the World Flight organizers were staying on a boat-hotel, on the Moscow River, for two weeks of key meetings. A time of confusing bureaucratic overflow greeted the worried organizers, twice a day all types of Russian committees turned up for meetings in the deep winter of a chilly, snow blanketed Moscow. Subjects discussed ranged from routing, airspace restrictions, permits, cultural events, fuel hauling and media coverage, which were accompanied by a blurred line of authority with little idea of who, if anyone, could make any final decisions.

— As the World Flight aircraft broke away from the Canadian coastline, and progress over the vital North Atlantic, the scenery was amazing and spectacular. The winds for the singles and the slow twins were as forecast; a 20-knot headwind at 10,000 feet gave Mace's twin Baron 58 a 160-knot groundspeed. Winds are also forecast to shift 180 degrees near the tip of Greenland, which means decision time will be at Cape Farewell, Prins Christian Sund. Norm passed the word down the line that Narsarsuaq was clear, which opened the way for others to divert if necessary. This was indeed welcome news for all concerned.

—"With our advance into Russian airspace, the cloud coverage dissipates to reveal lush forests and farmlands with very few towns in between. It is clear for sightseeing, but my previous experience tells me to look straight ahead for any and all uncalled traffic. Flight Services revealed that radar coverage in Russia is consistently poor, and this flight will be primarily in a non-radar environment with the transponder off as Russian equipment cannot acquire our transponder signal. Well inside of Russian airspace, right of the airways, Russian controllers instruct us to turn five degrees to the left—with strong radar the Russians can give course corrections for as little as two degrees. We are in the correct spot as international airspace is above 9,000 feet, but this doesn't prevent us from actively searching for any stray Russian aircraft lurking about in this unpredictable realm. We are assigned to the R-11 airway, this will take us into Moscow by the SVIR-NDB (non-directional beacon), followed by VITESBSK-NDB."

— MIR in Russian means Peace, but MIR also designates the Space Station program where cosmonauts and astronauts set endurance records every day from February 1986 to March 2001. By July 1992 the MIR station had been up for six years and joint missions, with many nations, were ongoing and planned for the foreseeable future. Our group was getting a certified cosmonaut hosted tour of the MIR training facility. Participants viewed a massive room, from a glass balcony, containing two working mock-ups of the station. Vladimir Lyakhov, through Olga, educated us and answered any questions from a group that was well-informed and inquisitive.

— "As we near the Angara River, for the final 60 miles to Irkutsk, Brad nudges me and with a broad smile points down and off our left wing.  Who is it but Doc and Janice about 10 feet above the river, they are enjoying the scenery up close in his nice Experimental Bonanza. 'Rally Bravo 3 to Rally Charlie 2. Whatcha doin' down there Doc?' Brad asks. 'Trollin' for fish,' Wisner came back in his Texas drawl. He had to ask!! A total fight time of five hours and 16 minutes brought the Spirit of Houston contingent into Eastern Siberia at 3:00 pm local time, or Central Siberia depending on the source. 120 miles north of the Mongolian border and we roll on up to find Russians, our support team, fuel, pumps and ground transportation, the best organized stop in Russia yet."

—"Bob Reiss, our resident intelligence expert offered his for both. The maps used on the trip were prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Defense with data obtained from satellites. Our flight map depicted grids of highways under the direct routing but nothing else; roads were leading to and from nowhere, crossing apparent wilderness and uninhabited areas. In Reiss' expert view, hidden in the center, was a top-secret facility known to U.S. intelligence but not shown on the chart, concealing from the Russians the extent of U.S. knowledge. His thesis was supported by bold letters on the map: 'CAUTION: ANY AIRCRAFT DEVIATING FROM FLIGHT ROUTE MAY BE FIRED UPON WITHOUT WARNING.'

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